Entrepreneurship · Idea validation

How to launch a product where a similar popular product already exists?

Penuel Ratnagrahi I can help you in web development projects, websites, and custom web applications.

February 21st, 2018

Hello all,

I am planning to develop a CRM software for small business. I understand there are already many such products available in the market, but I want to pursue it anyway. I want to develop it for small business and make it easy to use and user friendly.

1. What are the possible strategies and tactics to make this product cut through the noise and successful.

2. How can I find early customers for such product, when there are already old/proven products in the market?

Thanks for your time and response. I look forward to it.

Litas Li Distributor / Founder/ Trainer/digital marketer/ branding specialist

February 27th, 2018

Your customer really don’t see the “popularity”. For customer, they see the product just the item they need; if you want your product to be standout, you need to identify what’s the difference between yours and the “popular” one. Since your product can give customer more benefits that they look for than the popular one which existed, you are more competitive.

Alexandre Azevedo Founder of The Traction Stage Blog & Podcast

February 21st, 2018

Hello, Penuel!

First question I would make is: what is the target market and respective problem you’re trying to solve? Maybe you could find a niche in which current products do not completely address its need. If this is the case, you should start talking with them (maybe you don’t know who they are, but you have some guesses, right?)

However, if you’re intending to target the exact customers with the exact problems that are already being addressed by your competitors, it could make things much more difficult for you. You should ask yourself: Why would my prospects need another CRM Software? Why would they change their current suppliers? These are questions they’re gonna make themselves and without a strong argument, you’ll struggle a lot to get them on board.

In order to find the earlyvangelists for your business, I would suggest you base your efforts on your strongest competitive advantage. You have mentioned “user friendly” as an attribute of your product. Well, if your product is much better than your competitors in this attribute, I would search for companies/markets that value it a lot (more than company’s reputation, for example).

How to find the early customers? Quoting Steve Blank: “Get out of the building”. Talk with someone (even if you aren’t sure if they are your potential customers). At least, you’ll learn, iterate and be more prepared to beat your competitors in the future.

Bill Flynn Catalyst Growth Advisors - We help startups and scaleups with People, Strategy. Execution and People

February 22nd, 2018

Jobs to be Done is the best way to innovate. I recommend you look into how many companies figured out the unmet needs of their market by understanding NOT what the competition has done but how the customer is trying to make progress in their lives. Don't go into the process trying to find people who will buy into your idea, talk to people about their struggles and find out what job they are hiring their current CRMs systems to do for them, what caused them to buy them in the first place and where they continue to struggle in their use. You can read more about it here which also links you to other sources to learn more. https://catalystgrowthadvisors.com/2017/02/23/tom-hanks-explains-what-happens-when-innovation-goes-wrong-4-minutes-and-3-videos/

Denny Russell Startup Cofounder and Advisor - Looking to help early stage and startups get to the next level.

February 28th, 2018

What makes you different? Why would someone buy your service over the existing tools?

if you can answer that, you have your answer.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

February 21st, 2018

I suggest you read the book titled "Re-work" which is written by the pair of entrepreneurs who did exactly what you're proposing to do, built a small business CRM product in a crowded market, and succeeded. Of course you'll be competing with them unless you innovate.

Desiree Erugoh Legal Practitioner, Business Strategist, Startup Advisor -looking to solve your legal problems

February 28th, 2018

Hi Penuel,

It is usually difficult to navigate and attract customers in an already established market. However, I have come to learn that people are attracted to new things, new features, likely upgrades and simplicity.

All you need to do is add a feature that would attract your target market; a trait not obtainable in existing CRM Software whilst still staying simple and user-friendly. Trust me, you will definitely need to study the products of your competitors in order to ascertain what is missing. That way, you can learn and enhance.

Penuel Ratnagrahi I can help you in web development projects, websites, and custom web applications.

March 1st, 2018

Thank you everyone for your inputs and advice :-) They are really helpful and some of them is really helping me to think in a right way and in a proper direction.

Mohamed Ben Hamed Marketing and sales manager at PVDECOR,

Last updated on March 1st, 2018

A key success for every product is innovation or the differentiation. Actually there are no unique product on the market, there are always concurrence.

Take your time to make your product different which will satisfy a niche of customers which will be your target.

Chowdari Babu Founder @ ismac.io

March 2nd, 2018

identify your customers who is willing to pay and build your niche product and rest follows

Andy Hoebeke Web dev also into apps, machine learning, devops

February 22nd, 2018

Don't you have at least one customer, one user/company that has expressed the problem you're addressing?

I'd look for customer #1. That might be yourself, but for better validation and motivation (and some cashflow :) someone else would be better I'd think.

If you can convince one person, and make a product they LOVE, then you'll find others. (How many you'd find depends on how original and innovative your CRM is...)